PROSPECT — Burglars broke into Pacific Power's Prospect power plant last month and stole numerous pieces of equipment, including ground cables, an air compressor, a shop vacuum, new LED floodlights, an electric grease gun, an infrared heat gun, a garden hose, and an emergency radio and power supply.
"(The equipment) is related to maintenance work going on at the hydro project," said Pacific Power spokesman Tom Gauntt. "There is a fair amount of specialized equipment that goes into that." The value of the property taken totaled about $7,000, Gaunt said.
Jackson County Sheriff's Lt. Christine Bronson said that multiple burglaries took place at the site between Aug. 21 and Sept 1.
"They were hit four times in about a 10-day period of time," she said.
The break-ins happened at generator buildings in the 1100 block of Mill Creek Drive in Prospect.
The latest theft was reported Sunday, Sept. 1, by a company employee, who said the burglars struck between 2:15 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, and 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 1. The thieves cut a lock on a gate and drove up a private road to get into the buildings. Surveillance equipment is installed at the site, Gauntt said.
While four thefts from the same station is a lot, company officials said that power lines being cut and stolen is more common.
"As far as breaking into facilities and taking tools, that happens as well, and it's part of the hazard of operating in fairly remote areas," Gauntt said.
Pacific Power is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and prosecution of those involved.
Anyone who noticed anything in the late afternoon to early-morning hours between Aug. 21 and Sept. 1 should contact the sheriff's department tip line at 541-774-8333 or by email at CID@jacksoncounty.org.
Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or firstname.lastname@example.org.